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Facebook Messenger also gets into disappearing act

Monday, 16 November 2015 | By Mark Kearney

Facebook is the latest platform to stake a claim on the ephemeral messaging market, with its Messenger app introducing disappearing photos.


The feature, which deletes text and photos one hour after they’re sent, is currently being trialled in France.


“Disappearing messages gives people another fun option to choose from when they communicate on Messenger. We look forward to hearing people’s feedback as they give it a try,” a Facebook spokeswoman tells Buzzfeed.


Alongside read receipts, disappearing messages are another effort by Facebook to make online chat seem more like real-life conversations.


The new feature is the company’s latest effort to challenge Snapchat, which now has 200 million monthly users.


Facebook previously experimented with self-destructing messages in 2012 when it launched Poke, an app almost identical to the then-fledgling Snapchat. It failed to win over users.


Other apps with similar functions include Line and Chinese messaging giant WeChat.


In September, Facebook introduced another timely feature, offering some users the chance to have temporary profile pictures (like this weekend’s French flag filter) expire after a set number of hours, days or weeks.


Facebook is yet to reveal if and when the ephemeral messaging feature will be available to users in other countries.


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